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Grad Program: Biostatistics

Basic Information

Graduate students in Biostatistics learn ways to develop statistical methodology and theory for scientific research within health-related fields such as medicine, public health, and biology, focusing heavily on applied statistics. Biostatistics students focus on research, choosing one of two methods: applied research or methodological research. Applied researchers use statistical methods to advance scientific exploration, whereas methodological researchers develop the tools used for applied research.

Epidemiology is an area of specialization within Biostatistics. Epidemiology students study the causes of disease and premature death, as well as the factors that contribute to health and well being. Examining the social, environmental, biological, and mental factors that affect health, biostatisticians and epidemiologists develop innovative ways to assess the association between disease and its causes.

Biostatistics is a discipline primarily concerned with statistical science and its ability, through application, to improve public health. The majority of core classes focus on research skills and data analysis, as they relate to health and disease. However, Biostatistics and Epidemiology departments are often a subset of a larger school of public health, and many students compliment their coursework in Biostatistics with research in other medical departments such as genetics and biology.

Degree Information

Students can earn either a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.) or a Masters in Public Health (M.P.H) The typical master’s level program takes between two and three years. A Ph.D. program usually requires a minimum of five years to complete and includes a dissertation.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • What type of research is the faculty involved in? What research opportunities are available to students?
  • What types of innovative statistical techniques are studied?
  • Do students have the opportunity to study in other academic departments?
  • What are the elective offerings?
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